It's a common saying around the Beltway: Politics is just show-business for ugly people. The parallels between politician and pop star are too numerous to list here, yet by simply looking at the quotes dolled out by rockers and legislators over the years -- and trying to figure out which belongs to whom -- proves there's little polarity between the two personalities. Think you can correctly identify whether Beck or Glenn Beck gave us this quote about stage fright? Or if it was Hillary Clinton or George Clinton that dropped the line about changing hairstyles? Without Googling, see if you can figure out who said what. Submit your answers below for a chance to win tickets to Artopia. We'll pick a pair of winners at random this Friday from the correct answers.
1. WARREN G HARDING or WARREN G? Both rappers and politicians know that it's wise to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Harry Truman once said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." With that in mind, was it the regulator of the G-funk era or our 29th president, the regulator of the industrial era, who gave us this line about their anxiety-inducing frenemies: "I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at night"?
2. GLENN BECK or BECK? Political pundits and musicians often view themselves as the saviors of a cause, with their multitudes of followers hanging on their every word, a scenario that rarely includes any stage fright. So who was it, savior of the right-wing conspiracy theory, or savior of folk-rap irony, who once confessed a fear of falling, but never of fans: "I have a fear of heights, so falling off something very tall. But I've conquered a good amount of my fears. I guess most people would have the fear of getting up in front of a large audience of people and making a fool of themselves. I've gotten over that"?
3. RUSH or RUSH LIMBAUGH? The definition of "natural," and the credibility of science, are topics often debated in Washington, as well as being the subjects of most music involving drum machines or Tolkien references. So who was it, the oxy-loving pundit that warned us about the global-warming hoax or the Canadian prog-stars who warned us of the dystopian 2112, that gave us this existential creed: "Science, like nature, must also be tamed"?
4. SCOTT WALKER or SCOTT WALKER? All eyes are on the partisans and the pop stars, and when the spotlight becomes blinding, you see who has the stomach for fame. So who was it, the '60s pinup turned reclusive musical genius or the simple Midwesterner turned anti-union whipping boy, that gave us this line about public disillusionment: "Wondering what all these young hot-heads want from us"?
5. MORRISSEY or MORSI? Whether conservatively confident or flamboyantly flagrant, if you're going to be in the public eye, then you have to look the part. So who was it, the most famous member of the James Dean fan-club or the most famous member of the Muslim Brotherhood, that chiseled this commandment against hippies: "Long hair is an unpardonable offense which should be punishable by death"?
6. ALLEN WEST or KANYE WEST? Lawmakers and music-makers often view themselves in grandiose historical terms, sometimes plotting out their legacy long before they've accomplished enough to warrant a footnote. So who was it, the producer turned mega-star or the Iraq War colonel turned Tea Party star, that gave us this quote: "I'm here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman, to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad, away from that plantation into a sense of sensibility"?
7. GEORGE CLINTON or HILLARY CLINTON?. Again, whether you work in the capital of our nation or for Capitol Records, if you don't have the look, you don't have a hook. Whether it's Bret Baier's plastic lego hair, or David Bowie's nuclear-orange mullet-poof, hairstyles are often a measuring stick of public currency. So who was it, the godfather of acid-funk or the maternal icon of feminist ambition, that confessed to his/her own crimes of self-reflective fashion: "I'm undaunted in my quest to amuse myself by constantly changing my hair"?
GEORGE W. BUSH or BUSH? Intellectualism is a virtue prized neither in politics nor music. While songwriters let their work speak for themselves and often loathe interviews, politicians let their speechwriters craft their sentences and save their true intentions for legislation. So which brilliant wizard of words was it, the most famous offspring in presidential history or the most famous husband in rock history, who gave us this magical phrase about wholeness: "Got to feel less broke, more fixed"?
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